Audience codes extended to unincorporated areas | News

New buildings in unincorporated parts of Santa Clara County will need to install fully electric appliances and heating systems, as well as infrastructure to charge electric vehicles, according to a new county ordinance that goes beyond state requirements related to climate change.

The ordinance amends the California Green Building Standards Code 2019 and the California Energy Code 2019, which allow cities and counties to pass local energy amendments. Known as “scope codes,” the ordinances go beyond the state’s minimum requirements to encourage the electrification of buildings. Almost all of the incorporated areas of the county have adopted such codes.

Both Los Altos and Los Altos Hills have adopted similar codes. The new ordinance, approved by the supervisory board last month, would apply to local areas such as the San Antonio Hills, Loyola and Country Club neighborhoods.

According to the ordinance, all new construction must use electricity and not natural gas for water heating, space heating, cooking, drying clothes, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and decorative appliances.

New homes must also include wiring that will facilitate the installation of battery storage for additional resilience, cost efficiency and environmental sustainability.

“This is clearly in line with our climate action plan and will help us achieve our goal of achieving 100% carbon neutrality by 2045,” said supervisor Otto Lee.

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